JPencil
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I will be doing a STEP paper next year for my Warwick university placement (Mathematics BSc). I want to know which paper it's easiest to get an S on. I would also like to know if it is compulsory to do a Mechanics and/or Stats question.

Is STEP III harder than STEP I?***
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Gome44
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(Original post by JPencil)
I will be doing a STEP paper next year for my Warwick university placement (Mathematics BSc). I want to know which paper it's easiest to get an S on. I would also like to know if it is compulsory to do a Mechanics and/or Stats question.

Is STEP III harder than STEP I?***
Step I has easier content, but this means higher grade boundaries (most of the time). It really depends on the person.

It is not compulsory to do an applied question
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math42
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STEP III is, as far as I'm concerned, much harder than STEP I (some think the difficulty is closer, it can be sort of subjective). STEP II and III are meant to be similar in difficulty but STEP III has Further Maths on its syllabus while STEP I and II don't so III is broader than both of them. STEP I is most likely easiest to get an S on (although this can depend on what grade boundaries Cambridge Assessment decide to set; this year very few S grades were awarded in I) although you surely shouldn't need an S for Warwick. It might be advisable to do STEP I and II in case one goes badly but you will probably need more prep to get ready for III also.
There is complete freedom in choice of questions.
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Johann von Gauss
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(Original post by 13 1 20 8 42)
STEP III is, as far as I'm concerned, much harder than STEP I (some think the difficulty is closer, it can be sort of subjective). STEP II and III are meant to be similar in difficulty but STEP III has Further Maths on its syllabus while STEP I and II don't so is broader than both of them. STEP I is most likely easiest to get an S on (although this can depend on what grade boundaries Cambridge Assessment decide to set; this year very few S grades were awarded in I) although you surely shouldn't need an S for Warwick. It might be advisable to do STEP I and II in case one goes badly but you will probably need more prep to get ready for III also.
There is complete freedom in choice of questions.
Warwick give $$$ for S grades though :P
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math42
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(Original post by Johann von Gauss)
Warwick give $$$ for S grades though :P
They do? Never heard of that. Perhaps I should have put more into STEP I and less into Further Maths.
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ian.slater
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(Original post by JPencil)
I will be doing a STEP paper next year for my Warwick university placement (Mathematics BSc). I want to know which paper it's easiest to get an S on. I would also like to know if it is compulsory to do a Mechanics and/or Stats question.

Is STEP III harder than STEP I?***
Warwick's standard offer for 2015 was A*AA1/A*A*A2 . They don't mind which paper, so take STEP I because it's easiest. 2016 offers yet to be published.

There's no Warwick advantage to an S. If you expect to be a good candidate, take STEP II as well ... gives you a second shot and a handful of applicants do better in II than I. STEP III is quite a bit harder.
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Gome44
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(Original post by Johann von Gauss)
Warwick give $$$ for S grades though :P
Isn't that only for the Maths and Statistics course though? Tbh I didn't really research this when I applied so I could be wrong
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JPencil
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(Original post by Gome44)
Step I has easier content, but this means higher grade boundaries (most of the time). It really depends on the person.

It is not compulsory to do an applied question
Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. How many questions do I have to do?
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Gome44
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(Original post by JPencil)
Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. How many questions do I have to do?
As many as you want, they will take your best 6 answers though. For an S on STEP I you will need 5 fully complete questions and for STEP III you can get an S with roughly 4 fully complete solutions (of course, this is very hard to do)
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Johann von Gauss
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(Original post by Gome44)
Isn't that only for the Maths and Statistics course though? Tbh I didn't really research this when I applied so I could be wrong
Ah yes, my bad. Too bad

(Original post by 13 1 20 8 42)
They do? Never heard of that. Perhaps I should have put more into STEP I and less into Further Maths.
(Original post by http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/statistics/courses/entrance-prizes/)
AEA, STEP and the Warwick Statistics UG Entrance Prizes (2015 entry)
PRIZES!The reasons given above should be enough to convince all of our undergraduate entrants to take either STEP or AEA before they come to Warwick! But as an added incentive, specifically in connection with STEP, Warwick Statistics will give a £2000 prize to each entrant (subject to the conditions below) who achieves a Grade S (Outstanding) in any of STEP I, STEP II or STEP III.
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JPencil
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(Original post by 13 1 20 8 42)
STEP III is, as far as I'm concerned, much harder than STEP I (some think the difficulty is closer, it can be sort of subjective). STEP II and III are meant to be similar in difficulty but STEP III has Further Maths on its syllabus while STEP I and II don't so III is broader than both of them. STEP I is most likely easiest to get an S on (although this can depend on what grade boundaries Cambridge Assessment decide to set; this year very few S grades were awarded in I) although you surely shouldn't need an S for Warwick. It might be advisable to do STEP I and II in case one goes badly but you will probably need more prep to get ready for III also.
There is complete freedom in choice of questions.
I only want to do one paper because I'm doing Further Maths in a year (With A2 Maths & A2 Physics) and I don't want to do too many exams as my other grades could suffer. That's why i want an S because i may not be able to make the other grades.
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math42
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(Original post by JPencil)
I only want to do one paper because I'm doing Further Maths in a year (With A2 Maths & A2 Physics) and I don't want to do too many exams as my other grades could suffer. That's why i want an S because i may not be able to make the other grades.
If this year is anything to go by strong STEP results won't save you for Warwick. Your best bet is to aim to meet the A*A*A; then you're likely to be accepted even with a 3 from what I've seen. I did the same thing as you (along with another A2 although that wasn't much work) and making the grades wasn't too big a deal, provided I didn't focus overly much on STEP. You wanna ideally get your STEP I skills up to at least 2 quality but make sure you meet the A level offer.
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JPencil
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(Original post by 13 1 20 8 42)
If this year is anything to go by strong STEP results won't save you for Warwick. Your best bet is to aim to meet the A*A*A; then you're likely to be accepted even with a 3 from what I've seen. I did the same thing as you (along with another A2 although that wasn't much work) and making the grades wasn't too big a deal, provided I didn't focus overly much on STEP. You wanna ideally get your STEP I skills up to at least 2 quality but make sure you meet the A level offer.
Are higher A-level grades more desirable than good performance in STEP?
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math42
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(Original post by JPencil)
Are higher A-level grades more desirable than good performance in STEP?
The uni hasn't explicitly said this. It's more meeting the A-level offer, at least A*AA, that is important rather than getting higher grades. So long as you don't fail STEP they have shown surprising lenience (i.e. accepting A*AA3) while even if you pass STEP they have shown extreme harshness (i.e. rejecting A*A*B1). I wouldn't count on being accepted if you don't meet the offer though, even if you firm them. Best thing is to strike a balance and ensure the A*A*A2. (this is basically how I went about it although I scraped a 1)
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JPencil
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(Original post by 13 1 20 8 42)
The uni hasn't explicitly said this. It's more meeting the A-level offer, at least A*AA, that is important rather than getting higher grades. So long as you don't fail STEP they have shown surprising lenience (i.e. accepting A*AA3) while even if you pass STEP they have shown extreme harshness (i.e. rejecting A*A*B1). I wouldn't count on being accepted if you don't meet the offer though, even if you firm them. Best thing is to strike a balance and ensure the A*A*A2. (this is basically how I went about it although I scraped a 1)
I've looked over a couple of STEP I papers and... I'm surprised. I hear all these horror stories and by the looks of its just applying A-Level knowledge. I'm actually worried about the A* in Further Maths :'(
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math42
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(Original post by JPencil)
I've looked over a couple of STEP I papers and... I'm surprised. I hear all these horror stories and by the looks of its just applying A-Level knowledge. I'm actually worried about the A* in Further Maths :'(
Looking over is one thing. (although apologies if you have actually done the questions fully lol) Often the first parts, even the majority, of a question are quite straightforward, then you are generally forced to think more. Questions can be deceptive. I do think that STEP I is easy enough that it should be something all a* maths candidates consider doing, while STEP II and III are more for those with genuine talent (not me ) Nevertheless it is way easier to get full marks in the majority of A level modules than it is to do well on STEP. What worries you about getting an a* in Further Maths? If you find STEP fine then you should be able to accomplish that extremely comfortably (i.e. more like 95% over top 3 than 90%), unless you have the combination of great ingenuity and very low meticulousness.
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JPencil
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(Original post by 13 1 20 8 42)
Looking over is one thing. (although apologies if you have actually done the questions fully lol) Often the first parts, even the majority, of a question are quite straightforward, then you are generally forced to think more. Questions can be deceptive. I do think that STEP I is easy enough that it should be something all a* maths candidates consider doing, while STEP II and III are more for those with genuine talent (not me ) Nevertheless it is way easier to get full marks in the majority of A level modules than it is to do well on STEP. What worries you about getting an a* in Further Maths? If you find STEP fine then you should be able to accomplish that extremely comfortably (i.e. more like 95% over top 3 than 90%), unless you have the combination of great ingenuity and very low meticulousness.
I've done 4 questions so far I'm genuinely pleased with myself. I'm only worried about Further Maths because I'm doing AS & A2 in one year and i don't know if i will be able to handle all the exams and pressure :'(
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math42
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(Original post by JPencil)
I've done 4 questions so far I'm genuinely pleased with myself. I'm only worried about Further Maths because I'm doing AS & A2 in one year and i don't know if i will be able to handle all the exams and pressure :'(
Not bad. It can also depend on the year...older years tend to be easier; I remember being given a sheet of the first few questions on a I paper - may have been 2003, early 2000s anyway - and being able to do all of them quite easily, but more recent ones have been a little more troubling. Though 2014 was nice, and this year would have been better if I was more relaxed - exam conditions add a lot to the difficulty I feel.
As someone who's done that it's really not too bad so long as you work very hard. You need to get C3/4 and FP1 out of the way ASAP in order to have a firm grounding for higher FP modules. Through just working a lot I had basically all my nine modules for the year finished by the start of 2015; the rest was questions, past papers and revising. And if you have more than 3 A2 modules then you can afford to flop and still get the 90% over 3 that you need.
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JPencil
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(Original post by 13 1 20 8 42)
Not bad. It can also depend on the year...older years tend to be easier; I remember being given a sheet of the first few questions on a I paper - may have been 2003, early 2000s anyway - and being able to do all of them quite easily, but more recent ones have been a little more troubling. Though 2014 was nice, and this year would have been better if I was more relaxed - exam conditions add a lot to the difficulty I feel.
As someone who's done that it's really not too bad so long as you work very hard. You need to get C3/4 and FP1 out of the way ASAP in order to have a firm grounding for higher FP modules. Through just working a lot I had basically all my nine modules for the year finished by the start of 2015; the rest was questions, past papers and revising. And if you have more than 3 A2 modules then you can afford to flop and still get the 90% over 3 that you need.
I was doing the 2014 paper I have learn't most of C3, C4 AND FP1. I love the Calculus topics I know its going to be a lot more difficult in the exam hall. Can i ask when you think i should start revision for STEP and A2??
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math42
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(Original post by JPencil)
I was doing the 2014 paper I have learn't most of C3, C4 AND FP1. I love the Calculus topics I know its going to be a lot more difficult in the exam hall. Can i ask when you think i should start revision for STEP and A2??
Considering the low boundaries to get four questions or more in that is very encouraging. I reckon if you can get S in STEP I past papers you're nearly bound to get at least a 1 in the exam paper, if you can consistently get a 1 you're bound to get at least a 2 and so on. (not exactly a golden rule as the exam pressure can actually help some rare people while with others it can hinder them so massively that they drop 2 grades or more but still) Calculus is my favourite element of A level maths/further maths.
I would recommend not revising for STEP exactly but just practising regularly and starting early (so now, as you are doing, would be a fine time to start). At a rate so that it doesn't mess up your A level studies but you are actually benefiting. I was very erratic with this to be honest; you could probably dedicate a few hours a week and be alright. Although as for most exams you'll want to intensify your study as you get closer to actually sitting it.
For A2 you can get away with April-May start but maybe March is more sensible. I scraped grades in physics and english by starting my revision with less than a month to go, if you wanna be relatively sure of things then starting around the Easter Holidays or a couple of weeks earlier is probably pretty good.
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